August 2016 News

Militants To Suspend Strikes In Populated Areas

6 August 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)

Srinagar: The Muzaffarabad-based amalgam of Kashmiri militant groups - United Jihad Council - has decided to 'suspend operations' in populated areas. The decision to 'halt' the operation was announced on Friday, two days after the amalgam of nearly a dozen militant outfits, headed by Syed Salahuddin, asked militants to stay away from protests underway in Kashmir following the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani. 'We have decided to abandon militant strikes in populated urban and rural areas, but will continue to target Indian forces' installations in isolated places,' the United Jihad Council said in a statement issued by its secretary general Sheikh Jameel-u-Rehman and quoted by the local media in Srinagar. 'The suspension of operation in areas where people are protesting is being done to ensure safety of our people.' In Kashmir, anti-militancy operations have been completely halted by forces as the present public unrest has kept the security grid engaged in law and order situation. Since the killing of Burhan Wani, there has been no militant strike and no anti-militancy operation was carried out. However, eight militants have been killed in three different operations close to the Line of Control, when they were intercepted by the Army after infiltration in frontier Kupwara district. 'While the anti-militancy apparatus is intact, no operation has been carried out in the Valley after Burhan's killing,' said a security official. 'We are getting inputs that militants are regrouping and taking advantage of the present situation.' United Jihad Council head Salahuddin, who is the chief of militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, has asked militants not to make appearance in the public protests in Kashmir. The appearance of militants in public rallies during the past over four weeks indicates the unprecedented situation and clear indicator of complete breakdown of law and order apparatus. 'This (appearance of armed militants) is a serious matter and many steps are being taken to address it adequately,' said a police officer.